What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…. or does it?

There are a few trite statements are that regularly used in life that really do need to be examined… and to be fair to the comment, and fair to all of us.. need to be humanely put down …. and I’m nominating one of them for immediate euthanasia ..“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger“…

Apparently the quote is by German Philospher Friedrich Nietzsche, who wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism. Which is really quite ironic given how it applied to his own life, and that the quote has gained wide acceptance and been repeatedly used in popular culture, often with moral attributes.

A quick google search for the term “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” could, however, easily make you believe that what doesnt kill you will only make you dumber, or mildly entertained (depending of course on your tastes)….. with a page after page of references to a song by Kelly Clarkson and it’s Glee cast cover….

Nietzche himself proved the null hypothesis of his own statement… succumbing to numerous medical problems and apparently a mental breakdown… So if that is being made stronger looks like, I think I’ll take a pass thank you very much.

What’s the evidence?

What is the evidence for this trite statement…

Most people will point you to people they consider inspirational and tell you the story of how that person overcame great challenges in life, have taken a tragedy and turned it into something positive etc etc.

Their optimism bias helps them to regularly ignore the simple fact that every one of those stories there is also the story of a person going through a similar tragedy and being shattered by it and unable to recover.

In my opinion the more truthful statement is….

What doesn’t kill you ….. changes you….

It might change you in a positive way, it might change you in a negative way… But inevitably it changes you!

I’d love it if everyone took up the task of challenging every person they hear spruiking this sort of shite trite… And asked them to really justify why they are using it… See if it makes their argument stronger …. Or it just changes the discussion….